Sony HDR-CX105E review

£403
Price when reviewed

The collapse in the value of the Pound against the Yen has led to a huge inflation in the price of consumer goods in recent months. This has affected cameras in particular, and it’s hitting Japanese companies such as Sony hard. It’s all the more remarkable, then, that Sony is still able to produce compact Full HD cameras such as this HDR-CX105E for well under the £500 mark.

For that money, you’re getting a very compact and capable camera. It measures 55 x 107 x 60mm and weighs a mere 320g. It shoots video in full HD at 50 fields per second, and it records to AVCHD. The sensor is the one disappointment: it’s a comparatively small, single 1/5in CMOS.

Still, if you want a pocket HD video camera, the HDR-CX105E has plenty elsewhere to recommend it. It’s a Sony camera, so it takes Memory Stick Pro Duo rather than SD, but to compensate there’s a healthy 8GB built in to tide you over, which is good for around an hour of footage at the top bit rate of 16Mbits/sec.

It’s not an enthusiast camera, with no accessory, headphone or microphone sockets, but its touchscreen menu system does make it reasonably easy to use. And it produces decent four-megapixel stills, with face chaser technology thrown in for good measure.

Plus, video quality is surprisingly good given the sensor size, comparing well with the Samsung HMX-R10. Colour accuracy is excellent both indoors and out, and noise in low light isn’t bad at all – it just surpasses the HMX-R10 here, with lighter, more balanced results.

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It also boasts a superior 10x optical zoom and, although the image stabiliser is only electronic, it works extremely well, all the way through the zoom range.

Sony’s HDR-CX105E is more capable in terms of image quality than the Samsung, but the trouble is it’s also £80 exc VAT more expensive.

Which camera you choose comes down to a matter of budget and whether or not you’re willing to sacrifice a bit of quality in the process, but our money’s on the Sony for its superior image quality.

Specifications

Camcorder HD standard 1080i
Camcorder maximum video resolution 1920 x 1080
Camera megapixel rating 4.0MP
Camcorder recording format AVCHD
Accessory shoe? no
Camera optical zoom range 10.0x
Camera optical image stabilisation no
Electronic image stabilisation? yes
Screen size 2.7in
Touchscreen yes
Viewfinder? no
Built-in flash? no
Light? no
Number of sensors 1

Audio

Internal mic type Stereo
External mic socket? no

Dimensions

Dimensions width 55
Dimensions depth 107
Dimensions height 60
Dimensions 55 x 107 x 60mm (WDH)
Weight 328g

Storage

Integrated memory 8GB
Camcorder internal storage type Flash memory
Memory card support Memory Stick Pro Duo

Outputs

Data connection USB
Composite video output? no
Component video output? no

Accessories

Remote control? no
Dock? no

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